Friday, May 18, 2012

Back to the Future

I had entered the transfer season in June with one transfer assured: that of young Mexican superstar P. Sanchez. Virota refused contract extensions and left my team, along with many players. Datonholm's loan deal ran out and he returned to his club, refusing my offer. All these transfers put me in a bad situation: I had a squad of merely 17 players, and had no subs in for my midfield. I brought in Tolcatoryn on a loan deal and tried for another midfield, but he was proposing an outrageous transfer fee and salary.

Following from last season, I honestly felt this was the year I was going to get myself promoted. Entering my third season in this ML, I had some money leftover, but one of the highest rated squads in the league, with an 84 rated RMF Marek Artesia and a midfield composed of high 70 rated players. Due to my newfound grasp of Professional level, I kicked off the season with a win. The matches that followed, however, proved to be ties, and this knocked me down the ladder.

Things began to change in October, when I began winning more consistently. At this time, though, I had a fixture pileup in which I had Intls, followed by 4 games in 2 weeks. My players became exhausted, and Giersen received a season ending injury, while Maqualao was out of action until the start of 2014. Despite setbacks, I climbed the ladder and finished off my first half of the season in 3rd place, behind Norwich City and FSV Sarmtonburg. There is still, however, half a season left, so promotion is not yet assured. Also, the title is perfectly within reach, so I might pull off a championship this year around. Sadly, I was knocked out of the first round of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton on PKs.

Entering the winter transfer, Heldon was on a run of superb form, being my team's top scorer. This resulted in an influx of transfer requests. I turned down all the offers, but Heldon was unhappy and refused my contract renewal. De Kaam, my star defender, also turned down my offer and is watched by several clubs. I was trying to convert Ruskin into a right back, due to Giersen's injury, but thought a nice RB would be useful. I put in offers for my old player Virota and young talent Opare, but both refused. Moving on, I checked out the newest regens. Extraordinarily, I found Del Piero at the top, with a rating of 82 at 16. I didn't skip a beat and put in an offer. Despite the extravagant transfer fee (1,107,000 when my funds are at 2,736,000) and salary (739,000 or 100,000 more than his value), I knew that if he refused my offer, I would lose him. I accepted and added the classy Del Piero to Penta City. Due to a debt of 2,789,000, I didn't pursue any more players and instead settled for this one.

On Del Piero's debut game, he scored my opening goal in a 2-0 victory over Nitsalkosis, off a brilliant pass by Marek Artesia. However, he was incredible in the following game, netting a hat trick on his second game with Penta City in a 3-0 victory over current leaders FSV Sarmtonburg. This victory pushed me to second place and Norwich has a lead of merely one point, while my goal difference is greater. The title has never looked this close.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2012 Apocalypse

Well, I'm finally back. After a few weeks break, I hope I can update regularly. During this break time, I managed to really delve into a new Master League career on the PES 2012. As tradition, I did not download a patch and merely edited WE United's emblem and kit into the traditional Penta City ones. That's right, my ML is once again Penta City. To commemorate my placement in D2 league, I custom designed the Dehat Arena for Penta City, a small, open-topped stadium that I plan to remodel upon promotion to the 1st league. I placed myself into the Barclays Premier League and kicked off the season. As for any settings required, I set up on Professional difficulty level along with Negotiate Directly, No Classics, and Reset Prevention. This way, I can't rely on buying a couple Classic players to send me into promotion.

The true debate on all these settings was whether to start off my career on Regular or Professional. The fact is, I used to be a hardcore Top Player player until this PES.PES 2011 was still far too easy on Top Player, but this year, its become incredibly tough to play. Professional is much better, but is hampered by the "park the bus" strategy all teams seem to use. Regular provides space, but scoring goals is far too easy. I therefore settled on Professional, but if I stayed more than five seasons in the D2, I'll have to switch to Regular to avoid getting fired by the Chairman.

Kicking the game off, I was sent directly into the negotiation period, where I chose to pick up a created player called Marek Artesia, a 68 rated AMF. Lacking money, I signed a few Youths up to my senior squad: Palmieri, Fatecha, and Schmidt. Palmieri was rated at 68 and Schmidt at 58, but Schmidt's size and cheap salary made him a solid defender in my eyes. I decided to pass on Shimizu because despite the short player's high rating, his salary and lack of shooting capabilities made him relatively useless. I also searched the Free Agent list to find old defenders looking to retire and spotted Chigrat, who I had heard starts off as a regen of 90+. Due to the Youth system, after retiring, he would join up with my Youth team, so I wouldn't have to bid to highly to secure him. As for my own players, I sold Dodo to one of the D2 teams and released the other old players who had no one bidding for them.

The season began on a sour note, with a loss to one of the D2 teams. The rest of this first season was extremely uneventful, with plenty of 0-0 draws and one odd 3-1 win for me. I lost a few times in after the midyear break, including a 3-0 thrashing at Cantlesir Spor. However, due to all my ties, I finished off the season in 16th place, avoiding dead last by a couple of points. Entering into the transfer season, I had Napoli come in with a big bid for Chigrat. Due to him having been relatively useless this past season, I sold him and obtained wads of cash to go shopping with. Also, bids came in for Elegost and Jaric, so I sold them too.

Now, traditionally, players tend to improve in rating. However, I was not prepared to see that Marek Artesia had soared up to 73 rating in the space of one season, along with Ettori and Maqualao both improving a few numbers. Schmidt and Palmieri improved by 3, and my squad now averaged in the high 60s to low 70s. This transfer season, I planned to solidify my midfield. Scouring the Free Agent list for cheap youngsters, I came across a CMF called Diogo Rosado, who I bought immediately. I also picked up two wingers from the released players list: A.Camara and Heldon. Both of these wingers were rated at 70 in their respective positions. I also signed an Irish player called Datenholm on a loan deal from one of the fake teams in the PES League. He was the top rated player out of my new signings, and I had plans to buy him if he played well enough. Unusually for a CMF, Datenholm had an Acceleration rating of 90. With all these new buys, I decided to leave a margin on my club's funds, so I left them at 1,000,000 dollars approximately.

Starting my second season, I began to show excellent form in my first session of play, scoring a goal in every match courtesy of Ordaz and Gutierrez. I almost won several games before the game pulled some scripting stuff to pull a tie in the dying moments of the game.This excellent run of form saw me through October 2012: things died after that. Starting my second session of the game, I went on a goalless run for 2 months, losing most games and drawing some. During this time, I collapsed from the mid-table down to dead last, just like last season. In the last couple of games, though, I broke my goalless streak by tying a late game and winning a 2-1 victory in the last game of 2012. Hoping my bad streak was over, I entered the mid-year break on high spirits. Due to an instream of regens and Youths, I accidentally forgot to check out some regens.

The star of this year's regens was Giggs. A 16-year old rated at 84 was incredible, and any team could see this guy had a future ahead of him. However, Manchester United somehow signed him out from every other team's nose, right in the first week of negotiations. Equally drafted were regens Harry Kewell to Bolton Wanderers and Filipe Inzaghi to Ajax. Untouched went De Kaam, a solid 81 rated defender that I signed quickly. Taking a look through unwanted regens, I spotted 72 rated RMF/RB Virota, a perfect replacement for El Moubarki, who had put contract renewals on hold. To replace the aging Ruskin, I picked up Taffereau from my Youth team, a 59 rated 16-year old outperforming Ruskin. I tried signing regen Heycory, but even after six attempts, he refused.

Entering the second part of the season, I once again entered a losing streak, including three 2-0 losses at home. This death streak saw me score only one goal between January and late March, which was a penalty gamewinner taken by Marek Artesia. This was my worst run of form ever on PES 2012, and I was so desperate I even considered dropping down to Regular. Suddenly, though, in April 2013, something just clicked. Goal-scoring suddenly made sense, I now knew how to keep possession late game, make clean tackles, etc. My fortunes soared. I switched Marek Artesia from an AMF position to a winger position, where he was now rated at 81. I won a couple games 2-0 against Cantlesir Spor and Blackburn, lost to Keirkvernart, and went on a win streak to the end of the season. Most were balanced games, 1-0 or 2-1. This streak of form did include, however, a thrashing of PES United 3-0 at Konami Stadium, and I finished the season at a marvelous 7th place. That session was one of the best I'd ever had, because everything was happening like it should, no pathetic own goals (I let in so many) and no shots missed completely from right in front of the goal.

The chairman was not happy, because I hadn't secured promotion to the Premier League, but was nonetheless happy of my season finishing streak. Bizarrely, though, the fan receipts for the last month ended up being under 10,000 dollars, when earlier they were at 60,000. Weirder was the fact that my fan club had grown, not shrunk. Before entering this new transfer window, I released 8 defaults, including Cotsload, Cinalton, and several that I no longer played. Marek Artesia ended up as the top scorer in D2, scoring 10 and beating out competitors by 1 goal only. Ordaz showed up on the list with 8 goals (one hat trick) and Gutierrez with 6 goals. Out of the Best XI, only Marek Artesia made it from my team. I also sealed a transfer deal for a 16 year old P. Sanchez, rated at 76 with a wonderful 96 rated Dribble Accuracy. If I don't run bankrupt or ruin my current run of form, next year I will get promoted.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pentacular Story

So, as I had some free time yesterday, I went ahead and finished my season completely. As you can see in this calender, I picked up my game again towards the end of the midway of the season. My loss streak was snapped with a 1-1 tie with PES United. I followed that up with a goalless draw with Monaco. My ladder position was around 12th at this time, and a European spot looked far away. However, two 2-1 victories in the league and cup allowed me to reiterate my hopes. The cup victory qualified me for the quarterfinals against Benfica, while the league games pushed me into 10th entering the midseason transfer window.  I immediately checked out the Newcomers list, and tried to pick up the only worthwhile regen of the bunch: Maldini. Unfortunately, Inter was also bidding for the Italian defender, and I lost him. However, I bought two Youths: Wiart and Bianchi. Both have huge peaks in the 90s, and were very cheap. Several other teams were bidding for them, so I decided they must be worth it. Along with my new Youths, I once again tried to pry Giovinco out of Juventus. Giovinco refused my salary offer of 2000 points, so I gave up on him. I tried nabbing some players open to negotiation, so I picked up a 20 year old called Kavlak as a backup RMF. My final dealing was signing Adriano on a loan deal. The Brazilian CF cost me a lot of money, but since I couldn't buy him, I went for the loan option.

With these new additions to my squad, I faced off against Porto, this time at home. I paid them back in full for every goal they scored against me in the first match of the season, winning the game 4-1. Adriano and Martins pulled in braces. I continued, beating out Zenit and tying Fenerbahce. I lost in my my first leg of the D1 Cup against Benfica 1-0 at Benfica. In the return leg, I scored a goal to tie up the series and drag it into overtime. With no side finding a breakthrough, it fell into penalties, where I won 4-3, in sudden death penalties. Their keeper had 3 saves, mine had 4. Penta City solidly beat out French clubs Marseille and Paris, then tied leaders Liverpool in an exciting match 3-3. My first loss this half of the season came at the hands of second placed Manchester United, conceding a goal in the first few minutes. I bounced back with a win against Ajax, but slumped against PSV in a tie and lost to French giants Lyon. I embarked on a five game winning streak, beating out Celtic FC 3-2 after being down 2-0, winning 2-1 at Sporting, then a 2-0 shutout at Athens. Then, I crushed Sunderland and Feyenoord 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. This pulled all the way to 4th position. A tie against PES United dropped me down to 5th behind Benfica, and an inconsistent end of season (win at Monaco, loss at Galatasaray) put me into a rival matchup against Benfica, with the winner taking the final Champions League slot. I opened the score early, but Benfica pulled back before halftime. In the second half, I had 12 shots on goal, but Moreira was impregnable. I finished the season as 5th, a very impressive ranking in only my second ML season.

In the cup, however, I was playing PES United in the semifinals. Five minutes into the game, Martins was injured. I switched him out and brought in Kavlak, moving Gervinho up to SS. Thinking I would lose against a solid PES United, I played possession game to keep a 0-0 tie until the next leg. At the 75th minute, however, I launched a through ball to Griffiths down the left, who crossed it back to Kavlak and sent it into the goal. I was celebrating, literally, because this was a vital away goal against a great team. Playing defensive, I sealed that game. I repeated my strategy in the return leg at home, where we were kept goalless in a 0-0 draw. Regardless, I advanced on aggregate and entered into the D1 Cup Finals versus Fenerbahce. In the finals, Fenerhahce dominated me in the first half hour, and found the net before the halftime whistle. I found myself outplayed and losing. I lacked Martins in the offense, and the impact was making itself felt. However, in the 78th minute, Griffiths gave a good ball to Adriano, who took two touches to dribble past Edu Dracena and shot a signature left-footed bullet into the right hand corner of the goal. The score stayed 1-1 until the final whistle, where I discovered that I had been playing the cup final, and not a league match. In extra time, the first half leaned more to Fenerbahce's side, where Gokhan kept spoiling my through balls to Griffiths, and returned on counter attacks. In the second half of extra time, it was relatively balanced until the 117th minute. Adriano received a Gervinho pass about 25 yards out. Taking one touch, the center forward fired a missile into the goal. I had gotten the D1 Cup in extra time. Special praise went to Adriano with a brilliant double. Martins finished as top scorer of the tournament, with 5 goals, and also MVP. Gervinho got top assist leader with 3 assists, including the decisive one in the finals.

Martins finished as top scorer of the league with 25 goals, 11 ahead of second placed Rooney. Martins also notched MVP of the league and had his transfer market value soar to 2240. Diego came close to getting assist leader, merely one assist behind winner Mascherano. I was finally into my favorite part of an ML: the negotiations period. Immediately, I checked out my Scout List. I was scouting Giovinco, Menez, and Kompany. In the last season, Monaco had been relegated, along with Sporting and Athens. I deduced that Monaco had either released Menez, or Menez would want a move. I was correct. Menez had been released, and I quickly picked him up for a minimal fee, a 760 point salary, and no transfer fee. My next target was Manchester City defender Kompany so my team wouldn't contain Defaults. I put in Gutierrez with 10,000 points in a trade attempt, which Manchester City accepted. I then offered a huge 2100 points salary, which Kompany liked. He was my first top class recruit, and cost me quite some money. Browsing the Future Potential list, I spotted Japanese defender Kobayashi, who looked like an interesting buy. I put in a bid and snapped him up pretty fast. He replaced Ruskin on my starting lineup. Giovinco, as expected, refused my generous salary offering of 2500 points, at which point I decided to stop trying to buy him. I tried for Arda Turan, and was refused. However, I found a great Spanish midfielder Sergio Garcia, who could partner Diego very well in the middle. My team salary did not exceed 15000 points, and I kept 35000 points leftover after the end of the season. I tested out all my new recruits in two friendlies against Tottenham and South American Selection. Menez wowed with a brace in his debut against Tottenham in a 4-0 pounding. The other two goals came from Martins. In the next friendly, Menez once again scored, along with Martins, in a 2-1 victory. Kompany and Kobayashi struck up a good partnership in my defense, and my recruits proved very good. Now, it is on to season 2010-2011.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cycling Through 2009

It has been sometime I posted here because I was busy, but I managed to run up some games on my PES 2009. After a terrible kickoff to the season (3-0 against Porto), I tied my fellow promotee Zenit St. Petersburg and began a short streak of losses in the league for me. I held my own in the cup, winning the first leg 1-0 and sealing the second one 2-2 thanks to a double by Martins, my star striker's first couple of goals in the new season. Encouraged, I snatched two victories against top table teams Liverpool and Manchester United. This raised me out of the last place in the league. Against both these big teams, I decided to settle into a new pattern of attacking: my wing-counter attack style. I use some possession back in my own half, but due to all my players being weaker than my opponent's, I send the ball up the wing to Martins and Griffiths, who then cut in and shoot. This strategy works wonders, as shown by my two victories.

In the next few games, Martins regained his form and scored a couple of late winners or equalizers. These settled my team in a mid table position, between 12th and 9th positions. I faced and defeated Lyon, who was in the top three, along with fellow mid tablers Celtic and Sporting in close, tight games. However, my tie in the cup with Sporting began a streak of bad form.I failed against AEK Athens in a goalless game, which I dominated possession, but, like Barcelona, failed to convert my myriad of oppurtunities. A couple of 1-0 losses against minor teams such as Sunderland and Feyenoord sent me skidding down the ladder.

As of now, I am in 16th position. However, the difference between my position and 8th spot is a mere 3 points. This is turning out to be a much better season than I forecasted back at the beginning when I had that loss to Porto. At this point, however, Liverpool has built up a huge lead over me, standing at 17 points. A fight for a European spot will be tough this time around, so I need to make these midseason negotiations count.

However, I will probably put this ML on hold due to me beginning my first ever Master League on PES 2012. In my next post I will introduce my team, and officially put PES 2009 in a limbo. I will try to push in some playing time before that, but do not count on it. I will return to this one when I am bored with PES 2012.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blast from the Past

Man, it has been a long time since I had reached the end of a PES 2009 season. My original game still delivers the goods, albeit in a far different way than the new PES 2012, which I am currently playing to unlock the Classic Players. However, this post is to announce what occurred during Penta City's D2 League season. Shortly after the mid-season transfers, PES United had a bizarre collapse. They lost several games, allowing me to catch up and tie with them. Meanwhile, Martins was busy building his reputation as the greatest striker currently in the ML. Scoring a monstrous record of 28 goals in the season only and topping the world as the best striker, Martins was definitely performing. His skill allowed him to top the striker ratings too, with an average of 7.87. I took advantage of PES United's complete collapse and Martins' scoring form to take the lead of the D2 League standings and get myself promoted to D1 with six games left in the season.

Continuing upon this, I managed to pull myself past my bogey team IFK Goteburg on penalties in the semis (6-5 on aggregate) of the D2 Cup, and straight into the finals. The team I was playing was none other than Zenit St. Petersburg. They opened the score with a header by Pogrebyniak but I bounced back with Martins. They increased the scoreline with Arshavin but once again I scored, this time with Griffiths. In overtime, I dominated possession and obtained many opportunities, but AI bullshit allowed them to go upfield at the 118th minute,  and score. Thus I was runner-up in a tight game 3-2. Martins finished top scorer and overall best player. Back in the league, I marked an eight game win streak, including a rampage over former leaders PES United (4 goals by Trezeguet and all assists by Martins). This game shot Martins up the assist board and settle at the top with a total of 6 assists.

I went on a slump in the last three league games, tieing  them all and losing valuable transfer points. I finished the season in first place, and was promoted along with PES and Zenit. Martins ended as top scorer, assist leader, and Most Valuable Player. Funnily enough, his transfer season value was twice what it was when I first bought him. The summer transfer window arrived, and due to a lack of points for the recruits I wanted, I scheduled pre-season friendlies on all the weeks. I lost my first one 4-0 to the European Selection, even if they played 9 man towards the last 5 minutes. Martins was absent. During the negotiations, I first bought Ospina, a Colombian goalie with an excellent development curve, along with a player I never had seen before.  His name was Enzo, and he was 21 years old. He plays defensive midfield and has an excellent long shot and pass.

Following these additions, I won my next friendly and tied the rest. Meanwhile, I tried investing in Arda Turan, Mauro Zarate, and Jesus Navas. They all refused, but I still signed Gervinho as a bolster to my strike force. I also signed Albin and Diego, two midfielders who added depth to my team while being strong prospects for the future. I tried getting Giovinco, but my max salary offering was 1400, and he refused. I made a few tweaks in the starting squad, and now the only defaults left are in my defense, which I have not invested in.

I am interested to see how this season will end up. I had enabled Classic Players, as I always do if I'm starting a default team. I am wondering how well I will do with a Youth policy and no Classic Players. The clubs in my ML world have made huge signings, to the benefit of the bigger clubs. I started my opening game, with a very disappointing loss at Porto in the Estadio de Dragao 3-0. Hopefully I can pick up my game and make a run for a European spot.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Master League Stars

Ever since I began PES, I enjoyed the Master League mode. I mean, come on, what is there not to like about making your own team and winning titles, all while buying your favorite players. Sadly, I've never managed to continue a Master League beyond the fourth season; the game becomes repetitive and boring for me. I have been playing PES 2012 and its Master League, but it takes too much time and I miss the good old days when players didn't complain about being left on the bench, or being transfer listed. Also, with the new daily based cutscenes and matches, the Master League takes forever to complete. To reminisce of the beginning days, I decided to try out the Master League on PES 2009 for the first time in quite some time.

My biggest gripe with the new PES gens (2010 onwards) was that they were abandoning the old Create your Team mode which was a wonder to play with. It was much more challenging than starting with the club lineup, however weak the club was. I chose to begin my new Master League with a custom team. I named my new team  Penta City, which I honestly don't have an explanation for. As you probably know, Create your Team allows you to use 1000 points and get any players of your choice. I decided to go for the much hyped Martins, who I had never used previously in a Master League. With a Top Speed and Acceleration of 99 combined with a Dribble Speed of 94, the Nigerian striker is the definition of a speed demon. His speed was matched with 75 Shot Accuracy and 82 Shot Power. I felt that he would be an excellent addition to my team, even if it was only short-term. However, he cost 940 points, and therefore I could add no more players.

I went with Top Player as I was still well in touch with the game, and I was slotted into a mixed D1 League. I decided not to make a Super League because then the Champions League would be worthlessly easy. I began the season off with a win 1-0 courtesy of Espimas, who scored an bread and butter goal off a brilliant pass by Ruskin. The following game, which was the D2 Cup 1st Leg, saw me lose 1-0 to a tall, overpowered Rosenburg Ballklub. The goal was scored in the 84th minute when they were awarded a corner. I headed it away, sighing with relief, when their right back got it, crossed it back in, and scored off a header. Disappointed, I headed into the next fixture mourning over how overrated Martins was and how he does nothing. I went down 1-0 within 15 minutes of the start to HJK Helsinki. However, I focused, and scored a brilliant brace courtesy of Martins, who lived up to the hype. Two missiles into the bottom corners of the goal. I was holding on to second place nicely.

In the following matches, I crushed FC Zenit, beat out Rosenburg, lost to Goteburg, and won a few more, including a comeback against Hammarby. Going into the midseason negotiations, I was 4 points behind PES United, the D2 league leaders. I had salvaged my way past Helsinki in the cup based off away goals thanks to a lucky Martins strike in the 93rd minute. I instantly looked for Youths and cheap veterans. Quickly, I located young 17-year old Welsh superstar Griffiths. 4 other clubs were bidding for him, but I couldn't pass off such a promising WF. I offered an immense salary of 1870 points to bring him in. I checked out his development curve, and he peaks at 94, making him a value buy. I bid several times for Toni, as I was in need of a big target man. He refused all my offers. I tried to pick up Brazilian midfielder Lucas for a tighter defense, but he refused as well. I then tried signing Trezeguet on loan. Incredibly, I managed to sign him for the next half season. I came out of the transfer negotiations with only 1 new transfer, who I plan on building up.

New Xperience

Hey all, this is Rillatoni. This blog is focused on Pro Evolution Soccer, one of the best football games of the decade which I play regularly. I used to be a FIFA fan, but I tried out PES 2009 back in 2008 and now I largely prefer Konami's franchise.